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2007 Gibson Homecoming Summary from old forum


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Another transfer from the old forum. This post was made by SkipM, our official designated reporter for the event.


The Big Event is here!! Gibson Homecoming 2007 starts this afternoon at 3:00 pm. My family and I just arrived and got settled after spending some time at Yellowstone NP. What an incredible experience that was :-) Now we are all set to let the Homcoming fun begin! There is a meet and greet scheduled @ 3:00 pm and immediately following that we will be treated to a talk on the history of Gibson, presented by Gibson's Bill Gonder. My job during the Homecoming is to try and make regular posts to keep you all informed of what we are all doing, even the sordid little stories no one wants you to find out :-)


I know you are all dying to know the truth about such important issues as:


Does Hoss really paint his fingernails???


Is Mike really a Guitarstrummer????


Does ksdaddy really do those unspeakable things to instruments?


Do Mooses drool?


Rest assured, I will leave no stone unturned in my quest to bring ALL the action here at the Homecoming to you as it unfolds. I will try and post some pictures and I will use thumbnails to make things easier for those on dial up. It is a beautiful day here in Bozeman, MT. Partly cloudy, but warm and very pleasant, currently 68 degrees, the air is fresh and clean. Stay tuned...


I was unable to get on the forum last night for some reason, so here is an update. We arrived at the Gran Tree running a little late, so after some quick introductions and receiving our information packet, we took our seats and Bill Gonder began his presentation. Paul Decker from Music Villa was also present to greet everyone and Bill introduced him. Ren Ferguson also sat in on the presentation. Bill gave us a very good and informative background on the Gibson company from the beginning when Orville first started out, to the present.


After Bill's talk, most of us headed to Montana Ale Works for some supper. It is a very nice place situated downtown and about 2 doors down from Music Villa. We had a very nice meal and everyone got a chance to visit more and of course, talk about guitars :-)


After we ate, we all went to Music Villa for a songwriting clinic/concert by Carl Tosten. It was a private affair for attendees of the Homecoming. It was absolutely fantastic!!! Carl is a very talented songwriter and musician. He has a very unique playing style mixing in some percussive beats on the guitar, along with some fingerstyle and picking. He shared some of his insight and philosophy on writing songs and how to add elements to keep people interested in what you are playing/singing. You can check out Carl's website here: http://www.carltosten.com


The concert/clinic ran about 1:45 and everyone really enjoyed it! After that we had some free time to roam around Music Villa. This is the ultimate candy store!!! Everywhere I look I see something I want. Time to hide the credit cards. I was able to play several guitars. I finally got my hands on a CJ-165 and I was very impressed with it. I am sure I will be making a couple more visits there before we leave :-)


Today we are scheduled for a tour of the Gibson factory, a setup clinic and then some playing and socializing, along with a flatpicking contest. I will try and post an update tonight if I can access the forum. I have pics and was going to post some, but my new notebook is running Vista and I can't access any of the special features of the forum. It does not seem to be compatible with the new IE. I will setup a Photobucket folder where everyone can go and view pics from the events.


I am still having problems accessing the forum from here, so I apologize for not getting updates posted sooner. Yesterday we all gathered at the Gibson facility for a factory tour. Bill Gonder gave a talk about the manufacturing process and and guitar building techniques and philosophy and we were also able to ask questions. Let me say right here that Gibson DOES read this forum. He used a guitar that disassembles, to show us how they are constructed. We were divided up into three groups for tours. They are not really setup for tours there and we had to go through in small groups. My wife, myself and our two boys were the last group to go through. Bill gave us a very thorough and informative tour. We went through the whole process from start to finish. We were also able to see some special themed guitars that are being made. There are some very, very talented people working here. We saw one guitar that Ren is working on, that is really going to be something special! One thing that really impressed me is that these are just normal folks, doing what they love to do. They take a lot of pride in their work and in turning out these guitars. These guitars are NOT mass produced! There is a lot of hand work that goes into each guitar produced here. They do not do runs of any particular model either. The guitars go through the production process as they are ordered. You might see an AJ and then a J-200 right behind it. It amazes me that they are able to adapt to whichever model comes down the line. Each guitar takes 13.75 days to produce from start to finish and they ship out 60 guitars a day. I have a lot more to say about this, but I will wait until I return home and have time to collect my thoughts. We really enjoyed the tour and everyone who took the time to show us what they were doing. Very nice, down to earth folks!


After the tour we had some free time until the afternoon. At 3:00 pm there was a set-up clinic given by Ronnie Monk, he is a former Gibson employee who now has his own business "The Ax Doctor". Before the clinic got under way, there was a drawing held and two brand new Gibson guitars were given away, along with 5 embroidered Gibson jackets. A CJ-165 AN is now in the hands of its new owner ksdaddy, a Southern Jumbo VS went to John Gunther. Both of my boys won jackets and so did Acoustikat, Dave in SLC and Brian Cody. Everyone present also received a Gibson t-shirt. Ron gave us a restringing demo that was very informative, we were also able to ask lots of questions and I think we are all much more educated on set-up issues now :-) There was also time at the end for Mike to ask Bill all the questions that had been posted on the forum to ask at Homecoming. Bill was very open and answered all the questions without hesitation. I will leave it to Mike, to post the answers for you all. After the clinic we had another break, so everyone could have supper.


At 6:30 there was a display and play social event. There was an incredible amount of guitars present here and I think just about every model was represented and everything from old to new. All the guitars were available for anyone to play and a great time was had by all. Quite a few impromptu jams broke out all over the room. I think rar wins the prize for bringing the most guitars to the Homecoming. Paul Decker brought in an incredible one-of-a kind custom that was just spectacular, complete with an ostrich skin case! Some of the employees of Gibson attended and joined in all the fun. Ren grabbed Mike's J-45 koa and jumped right in some bluegrass jamming. At 7:30 there was a flatpicking contest headed up by Hoss. He had a very creative set of rules to judge the contest by :-) John Gunther and myself were signed up to participate. John played a very nice version of "Salt Creek". I played (sort of) a fingerstyle song that I wrote titled "Desert Rain". I have not played out much at all and it was very hard for me to get up and get going in front of everyone there, but I struggled through it. Everyone was kind enough to applaud for me. John and I both won some nice prizes, John took top honors and I came in second. It was all for fun and anyone, no matter the skill level, could participate. After the contest a lot more jamming, socializing and guitar sharing took place. A great time was had by all.


As an aside, I just want to say how great all the people here in Bozeman are. Bill Gonder is just a great guy and a real gentleman. The same goes for Paul Decker of Music Villa. Very nice, gracious people who are very happy to have us all here and have made us more than welcome. This event would not happen without them. I have also really enjoyed meeting everyone here from the forum. Just a great group of people and it is a lot of fun hanging out and getting to know everyone. I think what I will plan on doing, is to write up a summary once I get back home and get all the pics setup on Photobucket, so all of you can access them. Until the next update...


Well, the Homecoming for 2007 is officially over. It has been a great time and it all passed to quickly. Most everyone has left this morning and we should be on our way home shortly. Last night was another great time. There were no events yesterday, until the afternoon. The afternoon events were scheduled to be held at Music Villa. We were treated to another guitar clinic given by Duke Sharp. Duke is a great musician and plays several styles. He played several different Gibson’s for us. Duke is also just a great guy and we all enjoyed him very much. We were able to interact with him and ask questions too. Duke also instructs and has a book due to be released soon titled “Garage Band Theory”. Even though it is not available yet, we were able to look at some advance copies. It looks very good and I plan to pick up a copy as soon as it is available. Duke’s website can be found here www.dukesharp.com, give it a look! Thank you Duke!!


Next, there was clinic on amplifying acoustic guitars presented by Jerry Mullen and Geno Kreis of Music Villa. It was very informative and we learned a lot about ways to make your guitar sound very clean, about the different types of pickups and some good information on micing. Thanks Jerry and Geno!!!


Next there was a fun contest called “Name that guitar” headed up by Spacepup. There were 9 different Gibson’s played behind a screen and we all had to guess which guitar was being played. Jerry Mullen of Music Villa graciously agreed to do the playing and we all did the guessing. The guitars used in the contest were: SJ-185, Hummingbird, CJ-165, SJ-200, Dove, SJ-100, Blues King, J-45 and a J-45 Rosewood. It was a lot of fun, but I did not get even one right. I thought I would do much better than that! Golden Ear won the contest with only 4 wrong. Nice going Doug!!! Thank you Jack for organizing the contest.


After the contest we had some free time before the events later that evening. I picked up a few things I couldn’t live without from Music Villa :-). I also want to mention that I had Ron Monk do some work on my WM-45. I dropped it off in the morning and was able to pick it up that afternoon. Ron is a great guy and does very professional work. I really appreciated him getting my guitar back to me so quickly and for the excellent job that he did. I was able to use it that evening for the open mic and it plays and sounds great! If any of you are in need of a good luthier, I recommend Ron highly; you can contact him by email here: custommonk@yahoo.com, or The AX Doctor (406) 599-0436. Ron also does restoration and custom work. Thanks Ron!!!


The events for the evening started out with a pick and string exchange. All who wanted to participate put a new set of strings into a box and then each of us drew out a set of strings. The fun part was you had the option to trade with the person who had just gone before you, or keep what you had drawn. The pick exchange worked the same way, there was a little bit of swapping that went on and everyone ended up very happy. It was a fun event for all. After that there was a little socializing and playing before the main event for the evening, an open mic. The open mic was a great event with some good talent on display. There were a number of people who participated and it was very entertaining for us all. I was stricken with a severe case of mic fright, but after a short break I was able to come back and perform my song for everyone. It was a great experience and hopefully it will be easier for me from here on out. Each participant got to select a prize after their performance and also received a very nice participation award that was hand made by Gilliangirl. Thank you very much Karen for organizing the open mic and for the special hand made awards that you gave us all.


After the open mic, there was a lot more jamming and fun. I played with quite a few people and then sat in on a group for quite a while where we played a pretty eclectic variety of songs. I had an absolute blast playing with you all (you know who you are)! All too soon it was time to say goodbye and call it a night.


What an incredible time I had at the Homecoming. It was very special and something I will remember for quite some time. It was such a pleasure to meet you all and to get to know you. I made some great new friends and had a great time playing and jamming. You are all just a great bunch of people, whom I am proud to know. My family also had a wonderful time. Let’s do it again next year!!!

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What a great post...thanks for sharing. Wish I could have been there. Sounds like a great time.


Also, it would have been cool to win a guitar!...


Wait a minute...I just realized this was an old post just moved to this forum. When did the event occur?

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This was the second annual Gibson Homecoming and was held in June of 2007, but there is another one scheduled for this June. Check out the information under the 2008 Gibson Homecoming thread




We still have openings, if you're interested in attending. If so, send me an e-mail.

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